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Posted: 5/8/2002 1:01:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/8/2002 1:12:23 PM EDT by ComputerGeekGunFreak]
Well, I'm new to AR's and I bought an American Sprit Arms 16" CAR style rifle back in Feb. It worked great when I first bought it but now it is having problems extracting the empty case. The empty case gets jamed in the chamber. I have tried different mags same problem. I have also tried no mag, just putting a bullet in one at a time and it still happened.

So I took the rifle into the Store where I bought it and the guy told me it was a mag problem and wouldn't look into it any further.

Frusterated, I took it to another store. They told me that the chamber may need to be smoothed out, which they did and they also said they replaced the extractor. Just got it back today and when I tested it, again same problem. Could someone that has had similar problems tell me what they did to fix it. Thank you very much for any assistance you can offer.

Jon

PS The ammo I am using is Federal American Eagle

I don't know if this helps either but just before the jaming started I added a forward pistol grip to the rifle.

Thanks again.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:16:06 PM EDT
How often and well do you clean that sucker?
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:21:46 PM EDT
Before every time I have shot it I clean it for about an hour, possible longer. I think I do a good job but since I'm new to AR's, and guns in general, who knows.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:28:06 PM EDT
CGGF,

When it jams does it strip a round off the clip and shove it into the case still in the chamber? If not is there a mark on the rim from the extractor?

Shok
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:29:45 PM EDT
CGGF: Problem #1=American Spirit Arms. Unload it on some pilgrim and get A Colt, Bushy, Oly or Panther. If you took it back to the store where you bought it-if it was American Spirit in Snobbsdale-I can believe what they told you and how they handled it. Been there. Won't go back. I've got a Colt. No problems.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:31:50 PM EDT
yes the next round in the mag shoves into the empty case still in the chamber. I started loosing alot of rounds to that so thats why I tried just one round at a time with out the mags. Yes, the empty case that gets stuck gets all chewed up around the rim.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:35:03 PM EDT
try this leave bolt open for a week or two. I have found that most ar buffers springs are a little to strong and will cause this problem I do this to all my kits you can also oil buffer tube and spring with some break free gun oil. and take out bolt carrier and oil rings on bolt head and move them back and forth by hand about a 100 or 200 times and make sure rings are not line up. I THINK YOU GUN JUST NEEDS A GOOD MANUAL BREAK IN I HAVE TO DO IT TO MY GUNS ...
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:35:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gamesniper:
CGGF: Problem #1=American Spirit Arms. Unload it on some pilgrim and get A Colt, Bushy, Oly or Panther. If you took it back to the store where you bought it-if it was American Spirit in Snobbsdale-I can believe what they told you and how they handled it. Been there. Won't go back. I've got a Colt. No problems. hr


Just what I didn't want to hear. I feel alot better now :)

Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:41:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ComputerGeekGunFreak:
Before every time I have shot it I clean it for about an hour, possible longer. I think I do a good job but since I'm new to AR's, and guns in general, who knows.



in my limited experience, stuck cases result from 2 things, extractor failure and dirty chamber.

question1: have you checked your extractor and extractor spring? is it clean, is the rubber insert good, is the spring healthy? is the pin lubed?

question2: do you have and use a chamber brush? you can clean the bore till the cows come home, but if youre not cleaning the chamber you'll still have problems.

a friend of mine (career army!) was getting stuck cases with his armalite, so i cleaned his rifle, giving special attention to the extractor and chamber, and the problem went away. try it, it's a cheap and easy potential fix.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:41:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By okguy91:
try this leave bolt open for a week or two. I have found that most ar buffers springs are a little to strong and will cause this problem I do this to all my kits you can also oil buffer tube and spring with some break free gun oil. and take out bolt carrier and oil rings on bolt head and move them back and forth by hand about a 100 or 200 times and make sure rings are not line up. I THINK YOU GUN JUST NEEDS A GOOD MANUAL BREAK IN I HAVE TO DO IT TO MY GUNS ...



You all are going to laugh at me I know but I'm not too familiar with what you are talking about. What is the buffer spring and what is the oil buffer tube? Are these things easy to take apart and do what you are talking about?
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:44:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ComputerGeekGunFreak:
Before every time I have shot it I clean it for about an hour, possible longer. I think I do a good job but since I'm new to AR's, and guns in general, who knows.



Make sure that you have a chamber brush also.

Cleaning the barrel is one thing, the chamber is another.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:47:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ComputerGeekGunFreak:
You all are going to laugh at me I know but I'm not too familiar with what you are talking about. What is the buffer spring and what is the oil buffer tube? Are these things easy to take apart and do what you are talking about?



Go here:
old.ar15.com/docs/maintenance/

There is no "oil buffer tube," they meant, "put some oil in the buffer tube".
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:48:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ComputerGeekGunFreak:
You all are going to laugh at me I know but I'm not too familiar with what you are talking about. What is the buffer spring and what is the oil buffer tube? Are these things easy to take apart and do what you are talking about?


he's talking about the spring in the buttstock, the one you hear going "SPROINGGG!" when you shoot (did i spell that right?). it'sa easy to get to, but ive never heard of this procedure before. sounds like you need the usgi tech manual, too. you can download it from somewhere here.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 1:55:43 PM EDT
CGGF, you can also go to the Bushmaster website and download the AR15 Operator's manual, which is in PDF format (that is a familiar term, no? <g>) and go through the "cleaning" portion of the manual. All the terms such as "buffer", "buffer spring", and "takedown" will be mentioned there.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 4:03:03 PM EDT
Thx guys for trying to make me feel stupid. I am positive that I cleaned the rifle properly. I have gone through the manual that I got when I purchased the rifle step by step. I am just unfamiliar with certain term ok, I'm not an idiot so don't talk down to me like one.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 4:20:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ComputerGeekGunFreak:
Thx guys for trying to make me feel stupid. I am positive that I cleaned the rifle properly. I have gone through the manual that I got when I purchased the rifle step by step. I am just unfamiliar with certain term ok, I'm not an idiot so don't talk down to me like one.



I didn't get the impression that anyone was ragging on you. Lighten up, there are a ton of members reading this post and as well as some kind souls trying to help you out.

Now, take the advise of some of the posters about cleaning and maintenace information websites, and thoroughly check out the the buufer spring as well as the extractor. Track your maintenace measures so you can eliminate them until you find the cause.

If you know someone else that has an AR, swap uppers for a test fire to eliminate the buffer and spring. If you swap complete uppers and you have the same failure, then odds are that its not in the extractor. If the problem repeats, you can rule out the buffer and start to concentrate on the extractor.

For what its worth, I had an extractor that tore off the lip of the casing instead of extracting it. I changed ammo and it functioned perfectly. I now know not to use Brand X ammo in that particular AR.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 4:24:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ComputerGeekGunFreak:
Thx guys for trying to make me feel stupid. I am positive that I cleaned the rifle properly. I have gone through the manual that I got when I purchased the rifle step by step. I am just unfamiliar with certain term ok, I'm not an idiot so don't talk down to me like one.




Relax man... I don't think anyone was talking down to you, just trying to be a little light hearted.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 4:59:29 PM EDT
I guess when you spend $800+ for something you expect it to function properly. You also expect that the company you bought it from would help you, not make you go some place else and have to pay to get it fixed(not even fixed cause its still not fuctioning properly).

I appreciate the help you guys have given me. I'm just upset and maybe I took something the worng way.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 7:42:49 PM EDT
Oh man,
this has been eating at me for weeks now. I had the exact same problem that ComputerGeek has. My DPMS 20"A2 had a beautiful upper that worked like magic when it was new, but after I started to wear it in a little I started having problems. After 800 rounds I started getting at least 1 round stuck in the chamber per 30 round mag, the round would then fall right out of the chamber if you tapped the butt on the ground and there was always a buggered portion of rim where the extractor slipped off. I tried all the tricks, cleaning, different ammo, different mags, yadda yadda with the same (non) results. I did not have a spare bolt to try out so I took it back to the place where I bought it (K2 sports in Richardson Texas). They worked with it for a few days and proclaimed it a mystery. They offered to send it back to DPMS or give me a whole new upper free of charge. I of course took a new upper! Not to rub salt in any wound but there is something to be said for buying from a reputable vendor who has your best interests in mind. Now that being said the only thing that I can offer as advice is to look very very closely at your boltface. from day 1 always thought my extractor did not sit quite "right" in the boltface. It was not that the extractor was made wrong (others fit the same) but rather the pin hole in the bolt was drilled slightly canted causing the extractor to have one end that canted up and away from the boltface. I did not have any way to measure this but under a magnifying glass I could see that the extractor was not right. having the extractor canted a bit would possibly make it "ramp" off of the case rim as one side would have less rim to grab and therefor less resistance to slipping, once it started to slip I think it just "ramped" off of the rim, as stated my rims were never torn just a little shaved on one spot and the cases were never seized or hard to get out of the barrel. Also my cases came out nice and smooth with no evidence of tool marks or circumferential bands from the reamer. I think a new bolt would have solved my problem but when offered a whole new upper including all new running gear I could hardly turn that down.

Best of luck and I hope that someone will treat you right and get this resolved for you. You know it amazes me how some companies can stay in business when they seem to routinely crap on their customers.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 7:57:39 PM EDT
It sounds as if the extract isn't working properly or the chamber is tight.

What kind of ammunition are you using?



Have you tried different ammunition?
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 8:03:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ComputerGeekGunFreak:
Well, I'm new to AR's and I bought an American Sprit Arms 16" CAR style rifle back in Feb. It worked great when I first bought it but now it is having problems extracting the empty case. The empty case gets jamed in the chamber. I have tried different mags same problem. I have also tried no mag, just putting a bullet in one at a time and it still happened.

So I took the rifle into the Store where I bought it and the guy told me it was a mag problem and wouldn't look into it any further.

Frusterated, I took it to another store. They told me that the chamber may need to be smoothed out, which they did and they also said they replaced the extractor. Just got it back today and when I tested it, again same problem. Could someone that has had similar problems tell me what they did to fix it. Thank you very much for any assistance you can offer.

Jon

PS The ammo I am using is Federal American Eagle

I don't know if this helps either but just before the jaming started I added a forward pistol grip to the rifle.

Thanks again.

Try switching brands of ammo. Fed .223 brass can be on the soft side and since the ar. does not have the benefit of primary extraction soft brass can lead to failures.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 8:27:59 PM EDT
CGGF,

go to a gun show !! i belive there is one in Phx soon check the paper, go to the folk who sell the books, buy yourself the Army/AF/Marine tech manual, "Army TM 9-1005-319-23&P" it has more nomenclature than you will ever need to know

there are many good books on the AR-15, local book stores, gunshops etc. seldom carry good books, ya gotta go to the gun shows


Link Posted: 5/8/2002 10:19:41 PM EDT
4Wheelingunner:

Thx for the "Best of luck".
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 10:34:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JIMBEAM:
What kind of ammunition are you using? Have you tried different ammunition?



Well, when I first bought the gun I picked up a fex boxes of PMC. I shot around 150-200 rounds of PMC and I never had any problems. I also shot some Blackhills reman. and those also worked well, never one failure. I was out of ammo and wanted to go shooting one day, I saw the Federal AE(which I thought was a good brand)so I bought 500 rounds. That's when the problems started. I thought too that it might be the ammo, so I bought 40 rounds of PMC and had 1 failure. Since I still had the failure I came to the conculsion that it wasn't an ammo problem. Could I be wrong? Is Federal AE softer than most other brands of ammo? When I get the rifle back(I took it back to the store that smoothed out the chamber and replaced the extractor)I will test it with different ammo. Thx for the suggestion.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 10:36:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dubltap:
Try switching brands of ammo. Fed .223 brass can be on the soft side and since the ar. does not have the benefit of primary extraction soft brass can lead to failures.



Thx for the info and the suggestion.
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 11:13:27 PM EDT
ComputerGunFreak...

Typical ASA response! Betcha you spoke w/Bob: if you'd pressed it further, he'd've blown up and said he didn't have time to deal w/idiots, you were using crappy ammo, mags, etc. Not your fault (other than dealing w/ASA ;-)

You ARE doing right using good ammo for tests: Fed Amer Eagle 55gr is good baseline ammo for test. If your AR won't run w/this there's something definitely wrong.

You may've cleaned the barrel well, but did you really scrub *chamber* well? Std AR15/M16 cleaning kit comes with a stepped-down (i.e, 2 sizes on 1 shaft) chamber brush. Use this vigorously.

Actually your prob is similar to others who purchased a non-Colt, non-Bushmaster, non-Armalite rifle: those that w/non-chrome-lined barrels w/tight "match chamber" (supposedly more accurate: doesn't matter if gun doesn't work!) Such chambers are tighter than milspec chambers; owners of OlyArms, DPMS and other non-ABC brands do often report extraction/ ejection problems.

Gunsmith was on right track: dirty+rough chambers in non-chrome-lined barrels are frequent causes of such problems. But if that still fails, continue: find a comptent smith (maybe your same one!) who knows the difference between looser milspec 5.56mm chambers and tighter match chambers. Have him - ever so carefully - touch-up ream your chamber to looser milspec dimensions. This isn't a typical operation since milspec dimensions are usu only assoc w/chrome-lined barrels, and such chambers *cannot* be reamed to larger size due to coating. If there's problems, military replaces bbl; this problem usu isn't found because QC tests during mfg filter these issues out before bbl or firearm gets into circulation.

Sorry to say it, but forget about support from ASA. Other locals looking for ARs know about ASA so they won't buy the rifle (or will but at steep discount). But there's nothing really wrong with whole *rifle*; it's just a barrel/chamber problem. Once this issue's fixed it'll sing like a champ.

So balance cost of gunsmithing - perhaps several trips til you get it right - against a new barrel. Many places (Bushmaster, Gunsmoke Enterprises, JT Distrib.) install new barrels and test fire for low/no cost if you buy the barrel from 'em. Only need to ship your upper for this work. [ASA has good lowers; I have two. No issues. Their upper *rcvrs* are OK too - they prob buy 'em same places as other co's get 'em and then do their own final finish/assy on it.] 16" Bushie barrel is around $180+ and is milspec & chrome-lined. Don't wanna spend that much? You can get a J&T Distrib unlined barrel for $100-$120, IIRC that works fine. Folks there (esp Jesse & Teresa) stand by their products and'll work things thru. I had a J&T upper with just such a cheapie barrel that worked flawlessly with even crappy ammo.

Mag issues *can* cause prob. (ASA was just trying to blow you off saying this however.) But to rule it out, try other mags, borrow a mag or two from someone at range w/a working AR. Make sure your mags are true aluminum USGI mags: heavier black steel mags by "USA", "PMI", "Precision" are known troublemakers. Mags that have been dis- and (incorrectly) re-assembled (spring placed backwards) can cause issues. Replacing with new springs and the new green followers, along with correct reassembly, will cure any mag-related problems unless mag body has been deformed (bent lips, burst welds, etc.)

Good luck. Keep us posted..

Bill Wiese
San Mateo, CA

Link Posted: 5/8/2002 11:30:10 PM EDT
bwiese

Thx for all the info. I really appreciate it. I'll let you know how thing go next week when I get 'er back. I'm also looking into the Extractor Enhancer: D-Fender. Have you ever heard of it? If so let me know what you think. Thx again!

PS how the hell does asa stay in business if everyone knows the crap they pull?
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 11:50:14 PM EDT
ComputerGunFreak...

>I'll let you know next week when
>I get 'er back.

Please do. You can email me ( bill@bwiese.org )if you have more questions (otherwise I might miss see this topic pop up again on this board).

>also looking into the Extractor
>Enhancer: D-Fender. Have you ever
>heard of it? If so let me know what
>you think.

Your AR should run right with the parts you have. A std. 20" or 16" AR should run OK with its standard parts without any "add-ons". The ArmForte D-Fender may actually solve a "problem" but I think it's curing a symptom rather than performing the true fix. I have several ARs - various uppers, lowers, "parts guns" and all cycle fine w/normal parts. And I've gotten several others (friends') ARs working fine too: no misfires, failures to feed, or extraction/ ejection problems.

> PS how the hell does asa stay in
> business if everyone knows the
> crap they pull

Over the years many, many unfavorable comments have been posted here and on the AR15-L mailing list (now part of Yahoo groups). I don't know of many people that'll do biz with them except for certain basic parts than are real hard to screw up. Their real issue is not parts quality (hell, they get 'em from same vendors others do) but integration+testing + customer support.
And they're no cheaper than Bushmaster, JT Distrib, Gunsmoke, etc.

Bill Wiese
San Mateo, CA

ASA can
Link Posted: 5/9/2002 1:23:56 AM EDT
As everyone else has said, the likely problem is either a rough/corroded chamber or a problem with the extractor.

Another possibility, albeit remote, is that your action is cycling too quickly. That is, it tries to extract the fired round while there is still residual pressure causing the empty case to grip the chamber. In this instance, just like with a rough chamber, the extractor either jumps the cartridge rim or tears it off.

However, since your AR worked correctly when you first got it, this doesn’t seem likely. It’s also a rather tough diagnosis to make. The only thing I know of that can cause this is an oversized gas port hole in the barrel. (Though I guess the wrong buffer or buffer spring could do it, too.) This is just an “if all else fails” possibility to consider.

I recall other members suggesting using an o-ring as a cheap and easily obtainable substitute for a “D-fender Extractor Enhancer”. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the size to use.

Incidentally, hopefully when the store replaced the extractor, they also replaced the spring and rubber insert. You might want to put an undamaged empty on the boltface (with the rim under the extractor) and see if you can pull it straight forward away from the boltface. The extractor should not let go of the empty.

You can download a copy of TM9-1005-319-23 at old.ar15.com/books/TM9-1005-319-23.pdf.
Link Posted: 5/9/2002 12:32:11 PM EDT
ComputerGunFreak...

Forgot one thing... IIRC, you apparently had some work on on your extractor (replacement, along w/assoc. parts.)

At least w/Colts there's a different rubber insert for carbines than for std 20" rifles. I believe this came about after the M4's release, but not sure. Could help but again I don't believe it's a root cause; your problems have been seen numerous times on ASA rifles as well as other brands that have tight 'match' chambers + non-chrome-lined chamber/bbls.

Another thing: 20" ARs/M16s appear to, in general be a tad more reliable than their 16" carbine (or 14.5" military/law-enf carbine) brothers.

Some more comments...
Realistically, after 1st 100-200 rounds, any 100% functional AR should then be "broken in" & running flawlessly - meaning less than 1 failure per 5000 rounds if using quality factory ammo - Fed Amer. Eagle, UMC/Remington, IMI/Uzi. [PMC ammo may be a tad weak but never causes me problems; there've been reported issues with some batches of Winchester Q3131, though Win. Q3131A is fine (this actually mfgd by IMI/Uzi)]. Avoid reloads, off-brand stuff & 3rd-world import mil stuff til you know your gun is 100%. IMI/Uzi 55 & 62gr ammo is top notch; I believe they even subcontract for our military, so it's true reference-grade milspec. And while Wolf & other Russian 5.56 ammo is fun & cheap to shoot it should not be relied upon for diagnosing problems. However none of my ARs have problems with Wolf, TCW/Tula, or JSC Barnaul - carbines OR 20" A2s.

Do you have friends w/functioning ARs, ideally a 16" carbine? You could try swapping bolts & bolt carrier assys, buffers, action spring, and mags over to your gun (and his gun running yours) to remove such items from question. Try individual items, and then in combination. (If your buddy has a preban w/collapsible stock you prob won't be able to exchange recoil spring/buffer btwn guns.) If these swaps work great then I'd say it is definitely a barrel/chamber issue. [Do keep track of what parts were his vs. yours! He prob won't want ASA parts in his ;-)]

BTW: unless you really know the difference btwn pre- & postban guns don't swap uppers/lowers between the guns or you could commit an inadvertent felony. [Think Randy Weaver!]

Along that theme, if you DO indeed decide to get a new barrel installed do ensure you get a true post-ban barrel: it should not have a bayonet lug or flash hider (flash suppressor), though it can have a muzzle brake. [Muzzle brake should be wider in diameter than A2 flash hiders so it can't be considered a grenade launcher. If muzzle brake is designed to imitate approx size/appearance of A2 flash hider, ask vendor if it's been BATF certified for its legality on prebans - they should have a letter on file and be glad to provide you w/a copy.]

Also barrel's front end must NOT be threaded, unless you put a muzzle brake on and that brake is *PERMANENTLY* attached - meaning pinned and welded or silver-soldered on. Also, just so you know, your min. bbl length should be 16" else you have a prohibited NFA weapon.]

Reputable vendors, like ones I mentioned, will indeed know what "preban" really means and'll set you up properly. BTW, for lightweight ammo like .223 you really don't need a muzzle brake: bare crowned barrels work great and actually are a tad more accurate than bbls w/muzzle devices.

Bill Wiese
San Mateo, CA
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